November 18, 2015

Reputable Refugees?

Most of the writers at PowerLine (whose site has cured itself from the killer pop-up syndrome) are from Minnesota; home to the US's largest Somali population and leading supplier from this hemisphere of jihadi recruits. They're also very conservative in a way that mostly plays to the strengths that we TS'ers appreciate.

As such, I think opinions there on muslim immigration bear extra attention. This one contains a positive solution and a couple very good points that (once again) appear to be getting short-shrift.

1. look at the parades in Europe; they are at first glance 70-80% men of military-service age; these are "refugees" only in a politician's eyes.

The most benign possibility is that after settling here they will send for their relatives, increasing the cost of resettlement exponentially.

2. These are people that don't speak the language and are as far from H1B-eligible as one can get; I'll bet illiteracy is fairly high.

3. They are culturally disinclined towards integration:
- theirs is not a romance language.
- a substantial proportion disdain Judaeo-Christian ethical fundamentals (Google "sharia in the US" or "Muslim-only washing facilities" and nobody needs to Google Honor Killings).
- Islam is a supremacist theology that basically dictates non-integration, rejects church-state separation and in fact actively integrates a political movement.

4. ISIS openly brags that fighters are embedded and our completely opaque and incompetent administration (via the FBI chief, IIRC)

admits that we have no way of vetting Syrians to weed out the ones who are ISIS agents or are otherwise dangerous

In an interesting aside: PL also found a story that makes one ponder if aggressive interrogation might have stopped the Paris attacks.

Hinderocker cites hard numbers that apparently alarm him:

Since 2001, as part of America’s unprecedented wave of immigration, we have already issued 1.5 million green cards to immigrants from Muslim countries. Within the next 5 years, under current policy, the U.S. can expect to resettle well more than half a million migrants from Muslim countries
Just by raw numbers, as long as total immigration stays below 3M annually (1% of our population), I'll not be joining the "stop the invasion" parade.

Still, it bears repeating that we have something like 50,000 homeless veterans. Why are we importing more indigents?

There is a proposed solution that bears trumpeting:

The U.S. can work with its European allies to establish safe areas in Syria, enforced by no-fly zones. In this manner we could protect far more than 100,000 Syrians without requiring any of them to leave their country, and without the enormous economic and social costs imposed by more mass immigration to the U.S.

Any idea if it will help to call Rep. Polis to hold funding back to stop this wave? I can nearly guess where Ken Buck is....

Any interest in the litigious debate over how much say the States have over the settlement of refugees?

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:05 AM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... 70-80% men of military-service age; these are "refugees" only in a politician's eyes..."

I'm copyrighting the word "refujihadis."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 18, 2015 1:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

First, "refujihadi" is brilliant! I have added it to my spell check dictionary.

Second, what does "IIRC" mean? I've seen it in multiple posts and am still clueless. In general, please use fewer acronyms and abbreviations. The spelled out words actually enhance readability, even though the character count is higher.

And finally, stepping from one soapbox to a different soapbox...

While I agree that a "safe zone" in the refugees home country is better than shipping them all to Pocatello, the idea that one can be maintained or even established with a "no-fly zone" is balderdash. The Islamic State has no air force. Stopping them requires walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. To quote a famous movie line, "Who's gonna guard that wall?" We need to handle the truth, which is "boots on the ground" in the middle east. Not just American, but now that Europe has been sufficiently bloodied perhaps NATO will soon have the stomach for the job.

Here's another thought. There's already a "safe-zone" in the Mideast. It's called Israel. Maybe it's (long past) time to stop them from expanding their sphere of (safety) influence? Put the Kurds in the same scenario. Just sayin'. It ain't rocket science.

Posted by: johngalt at November 18, 2015 2:45 PM
But jk thinks:

I am actually a fan of accepting refugees. Some of you may have seen me jousting of Facebook. I will post a response so that I can more easily include a couple links.

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2015 2:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So am I, in principle. But this uber political President and his Democrat governor accolytes make the practicality of the principle unpalatable.

Posted by: johngalt at November 18, 2015 3:58 PM
But jk thinks:

You mean "Vice President Elect" Hickenlooper? I suspect this will serve him well.

To be fair, he might be acting on principle and to be double fair, Governors have ZERO choice who can enter their state. Posturers on both sides are -- in Douglas Adams's immortal words "mostly harmless."

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2015 5:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

IIRC = If I Recall Correctly.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 19, 2015 12:07 AM

November 15, 2015

And You Guys Can Suck Eggs

I'd start a category for "things I cannot say on Facebook," but I fear it would be overused. This is under "Jihad" and "Rant," so proceed with caution.

I'm told -- and not just by loony lefties -- that I am a racist. I have indeed changed my profile pic to use the French Tricolore. I don't expect points for originality or courage for the grueling work of clicking the button under my friend's. It does not rank up there with Paul Revere's ride.

But I am told that I am racist for not caring about the Kenyan attacks last April, even though they had a similar body count, or the attacks in Beirut the night before. I did not adopt the Lebanese nor Kenyan flags in my profile pic. I clearly only care about Europeans.

Well, Balder-fucking-dash! (I did say "Rant.")

I decry terrorism in all its forms. I feel for all victims of violence. But I retain the right to choose that which upsets me. And Jihad in the land of Voltaire upsets me. That does not equal my saying "147 Deaths in Kenya are fine."

It does say that we have set aside some territory that accepts Enlightenment Values and that their retreat is a particular loss. A music concert in the French capital is the triumph of Enlightenment Values as were the offices of the cheesy and puerile -- but free -- "Charlie Hebdo."

Lebanon sadly enjoyed Enlightenment Values for many years. I am sorry for its fall back ito 7th-Century-ism, but it did not happen last Friday night. Kenya has struggled for its post-Colonial history with governments of oscillating quality and rights protection. I hope for her and am optimistic reading Angus Deaton and William Easterly that good days lie ahead.

But I am particularly upset about Paris. And those who don't like it can suck eggs.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | Comments (7)
But Jk thinks:

Thanks. That'll work for half of them.

Another makes the more legitimate point that it is too little and smacks of sanctimony. I can dig that, but I dug up our patron quote:

"During my long journey through the world of evil, I had discovered three sources of power: the power of an individual's inner freedom, the power of a free society, and the power of the solidarity of the free world."-- Natan Sharansky, "The Case for Democracy"

Posted by: Jk at November 15, 2015 5:47 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I didn't see the comments, but the only comments including the "racism" theme I've ever seen that were NOT dripping with sanctimony were overinvested in misdirection and/or false-equivalencies in order to push a poorly produced argument.

It's somewhere between a dodge and an intellectual crutch, but that earns no points in FB-land. Here's one I've always yearned to put down in response to phony put-downs:

"Citation of the term racism tracts too closely to the bigoted ignorance of the 19th century whereby some homo sapiens were deemed to not be fully human. I do not glorify this; do you? If not, please post a credible argument. If so, please join us in the 21st century."

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 15, 2015 11:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Am I really a racist, or are you really an ad hominist?"

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2015 2:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I feel you. As I'm sure you noticed, the mass murders committed by hopeless, impressionable, sex-starved loser boys in Paris in the service of equally hopeless sex-slave holding loser boys in Raqqa moved me to profanity too, on Friday.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2015 3:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Official" ISIS-

"In a blessed attack for which Allah facilitated the causes for success, a faithful group of the soldiers of the Caliphate, may Allah dignify it and make it victorious, launched out, targeting the capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe, Paris..."

I will fight to defend prostitution.
I will fight to defend obscenity.
I will fight to defend those who choose to carry the banner of the Cross.
I will fight to defend individual liberty.

F*** Islamic State.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2015 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

[A Thumbs-up emoji on the racist/ad hominist comment]

In an unrelated skirmish, I got called a "fraud" by a woman I don't know. She seemed quite nice. But I was discussing refugees with another guy and had to clarify if me or my interlocutor was the "fraud." It was me. Again a very nice forum of good people -- it kind of made my day.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2015 3:39 PM

Well played, Amazon.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd prefer to quote Danton: "Toujours L'audace." a case in point was suggested by some PJ-clad blogger...

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 16, 2015 12:57 PM

November 13, 2015

Let's talk about what "a feeling of safety and community" really means

Recent events on American college campuses notwithstanding, the actions of some people truly do manifest feelings of fear for one's safety - for one's very life.

40 dead. Then 60 dead. Hostages taken, being murdered one by one.

Really, pampered collegians. Grow the f*** up. Wake the f*** up. Pull your entitled, coddled, play-Marxist heads out of your uptight asses.

UPDATE: If Charlie Hebdo was "France's 9/11" then this may have to be considered her Pearl Harbor. But really, the attack last January was the wake-up call:

Now, for the first time for many Parisians, France is on the brink of following in America's footsteps.

"It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday in a speech south of Paris.

On Wednesday, al Qaeda and the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, underscored Valls' words by releasing videos mobilizing supporters within France's borders to further terrorize the country.

France has been an active member of the U.S-led coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which has been largely aimed at preventing the militant group from coming to the West. Now, the country must launch its own "war on terror," both internally and externally.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:30 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

And here was Obama on Sunday saying ISIS had been 'contained' (to bombing planes over the sinai?).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 14, 2015 1:42 AM

October 30, 2015

Jihad is so much fun it kills me!

German rapper "Deso (Devil's Son) Dogg" Cuspert turns to Islam, joins ISIL, dies in U.S. airstrike against men who "want your [German] blood" in Raqqa, Syria.

The evolution of "Deso Dogg," the hip-hop star with a chip on his shoulder, into "Abu Talha Al-Almani," a militant with blood on his hands and an airstrike's terrorist target is less unlikely than it sounds. Like so many of Islamic State's western recruits, Cuspert was simultaneously disaffected and indignant, the survivor of a troubled upbringing and a tumultuous adulthood who saw something in jihad -- faith, fulfillment, the promise of redemption -- he lacked at home.

Perhaps it had something to do with some structural inconsistency in his upbringing.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2015

Barack Obama was right

Islamic State really IS "the JV!"

"Headquarters of terrorist group and an arms depot were destroyed in the region of Ildib, as well as a militant three-level fortified command point in the region of Hama," Moscow's ministry of defense said.

It also said Su-24Ms and Su-25s, aircraft first put in service by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, made eight sorties against the IS targets, and succeeded in avoiding civilian casualties.

Meantime, the U.S. in over a year and three months can't make meaningful gains against IS.

It looks like Vladimir Putin has finally found a use for Secretary of State Clinton's "reset" button. That was easy!

None of this was imaginable before Barack Obama came on the scene. Russia, while clearly ambitious for more global power under Putin, had apparently permanently lost its standing as a global superpower.

It took a U.S. president committed to revolutionary change in America's role in the world to reawaken the Russian bear and provide an opening for Putin's aggression.

When the U.S. fulfills its role as leader in the world, we are criticized, even ridiculed. But we are respected. Putin's Russia is not about to be loved, but it may begin to be greatly respected if it starts doing things that the U.S. is supposed to do but won't.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

My buddies at Reason and Cato are all onboard the Putin train: let them anger terrorists and disturb ISIS and it is unlikely that they will do a much worse job of picking winners and losers than will President Obama.

My conservative buddies are of course appalled at the lack of US leadership. To their point, I can certainly se this ending badly. But to the libertarians' point, things have occasionally not gone so well in the Middle East with US at the helm.

I'm willing to let them have the run of the place for 16 months. Once President Keith is inaugurated and throws 100% of US support to the Kurds, they'll have to move out or display good intentions.

Posted by: jk at October 7, 2015 10:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with you. No matter how many of Putin's Risk(TM) pieces he moves to Syria, he is still hamstrung by his moribund economy. I'm not terribly concerned about Russian global domination.

My point was more about how easy it is to defeat ISIS. Russia claims to have destroyed a "fortified command point" after a grand total of 8 sorties. Meanwhile, our 7000 sorties (per the linked editorial) have produced what, exactly?

It's almost as if the commander in chief has never intended to ultimately defeat, or even degrade, the bright shiny part of the Shiite Islamist adventurism. Meanwhile, the real activity continues apace in Iran - where POTUS makes concessions and subsidizes the Iranian nuke program with $150bn US of our tax dollars.

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2015 11:14 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, this is an awful muddle that Obama's 'not leading' created (aside: leading from behind is yet another bastardization of our language by the Progs that I refuse to even acknowledge), and now that it's so incredibly FUBAR'd I am _probably_ OK with Russia taking it's swing at things....

I am certainly willing and able to do the 'neener-neener' dance around BHO and hope that this new massively-amplified powerlessness continues to drag the Dem's down (and R's learn to avoid the "ahhh, if only Bush hadn't....").

The worry I have is that Putin succeeds, wildly boosting his sway in the gulf thereby boosting arms sales and gaining some control over oil prices, which would rescue Russian and Iranian economies, of which the immediate affect would be to further drive the Ukraine under his thumb.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 7, 2015 12:13 PM

September 22, 2015

Our friend Putin

I'm inclined to agree with this assessment by Patrick J. Buchanan:

Indeed, the problem in Syria is not so much with the Russians -- or Iran, Hezbollah and Assad, all of whom see the Syrian civil war correctly as a fight to the finish against Sunni jihadis.

Our problem has been that we have let our friends -- the Turks, Israelis, Saudis and Gulf Arabs -- convince us that no victory over ISIS can be achieved unless and until we bring down Assad.

Once we get rid of Assad, they tell us, a grand U.S.-led coalition of Arabs and Turks can form up and march in to dispatch ISIS.

This is neocon nonsense.

Those giving us this advice are the same "cakewalk war" crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya.

When have these people ever been right?

He concludes:

In making ISIS, not Assad, public enemy No. 1, Putin has it right.

It is we Americans who are the mystery inside an enigma now.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ahh, good ole' Pat; as addled as ever.

same crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya

They were two _very_different_ crowds...

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 22, 2015 3:25 PM
But jk thinks:

"Two wings of the same bird of prey!" That's what Mr. Buchanan would say.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2015 5:55 PM

September 8, 2015

We were warned

Arutz Sheva - Europe Fearful ISIS Set to Invade Europe, Via Refugee Ships

General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan army, warned that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists running rampant in the north African state are set to infiltrate Europe and expand their reign of terror into the West. ISIS will "spread in even the European countries if (the West) does not offer real help to the Libyan people, especially the Libyan army," he told the Associated Press. He warned the ISIS terrorists "will head with the illegal migrants to Europe, where corruption and destruction will spread just like Libya. But there it will be hard to confront them."

That quote originally appeared in a March 20th news report.

Maybe they're already there.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:50 PM | Comments (0)

July 7, 2015

Wrong Side of History?

How can you become sad looking at pictures of attractive young women?

Jim Geraghty shares a couple of pictures in his "Morning Jolt" Newsletter, and suggests that they disprove assumptions about an assumed inexorable march toward freedom. At the very least, one can be "on the wrong side of history" for a long time.

Afghanistan, 1970:


Iran 1971:


Nothing a bloodthirsty, Seventh Century religious movement cannot fix.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | Comments (11)
But johngalt thinks:

I think I can, and must, clarify my assertion without resorting to a dictionary definition of "religion." I mean to say that while the Islamist movement identifies itself with a religious tradition, that particular religious tradition was created - or at least, as KA elaborated, eventually evolved into something that was - for the purpose of justifying the initiation of force against others.

This initiation of force was, and is again today for the Islamists, the primary goal of the movement. Advancement of the teachings of the religious tradition, i.e. peaceful speech and persuasion, is not the principal purpose. The teachings are only a means to another end, and provide a supposed moral sanction. Islam, in its pure form, is not religion qua religion but rather, religion qua piracy. Or at least, this is my understanding of the unvarnished history of Muhammad.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2015 11:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Clear as mud" dagny says.

Whether Islam is or is not a religion is not my point. My point is that attributing Islam's code of human conduct to "a superhuman agency or agencies" is intended to confer a moral sanction upon that code and thus, to defend it from critics.

This is one of the clearest examples I know of the danger in allowing ancient recollections of a superhuman agency's moral code to guide human moral conduct.

Now, we can draw a distinction between the moral code of Islam and every other known religion thusly: The personal observance of any religious tradition other than Islam allows for the peaceful observation of the same or any other religious tradition, or even no religion whatsoever. Islam however, as practiced by the Islamists, requires the killing of infidels.

While all other religions rely upon persuasion to attract adherents, Islamism relies upon murder. And yet the "free" west is loathe to criticize Islam because it is a "religion." Here is the focus of my point - It is not a religion worthy of respect and consideration, it is a set of sheep's clothing for a bloodthirsty cult. A sort of a "moral Trojan horse" if you will.

Posted by: johngalt at July 9, 2015 4:32 PM
But jk thinks:

jk -- ThreeSources's defender of Islam!

But, but, but, you're comparing other religions to "Islamism." I'll grant that the militant wing of Seventh Day Adventists does not strike fear into airline travelers like a throaty "Allahu Akbar!" But you're ignoring a billion practicants who can accept pluralism.

Posted by: jk at July 9, 2015 7:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

JG: I'll defend you again, then - I understood your point perfectly well, and I agree.

The article I referenced makes the case that, as far as Islam goes, its roots are suspect. Mohammed took what benefitted himself, what aggrandized himself, and what conformed to his wants and desires, laid them down as law, and then wrapped them all up in God-words and said "this isn't just me talkin' - this is the will of Allah!" And then he reinforced his decrees by the point of the sword. Today's Islamists are following in this same tradition, and I think we could come up with a hundred or so examples in short order.

And I hope you're not soft-pedaling anything you're saying on my behalf, because if you're concerned I might take offense, trust me -- I don't and I won't. My own faith tradition bases its code of conduct on the pronouncements of "a superhuman agency" and I've never gotten the impression you've belittled me or my ideas on that basis. Of course, I've never threatened to saw someone's head off over it. Sure, someone might bring up the Crusades or how Galileo was treated, but we in the Reformed side of the aisle just roll our eyes and will tell you that even the Catholics have outgrown that. Heck, I think I've held a lower opinion of Mike Huckabee than anyone here -- and that's saying something.

You'll laugh, but I deal with the reverse, when I talk with people who don't understand how a real Christian can be so comfortable with Ayn Rand, and then I have to explain that - and just to let you know, it's a fun conversation (a hobby I've had since the movie "Dirty Dancing" came out, and the villain of the piece was a caricature devoted to The Fountainhead -- you can look that up).

Back to your point, I'd echo your final paragraph by saying that Islam is, as far as honest religion goes, a system of domination and despotism wrapped up in God-words to give a magic sanction to the personality issues of its founder, and it attracts exactly the same kind of people. That drive is unchanged from its founding all the way to the present. It's a projection of its founder wrapped up in the garments of religion.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 9, 2015 7:56 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I took so long writing my pithy answer to JG, that JK was able to slip in undetected at get his own comment in. Sorry about that.

Completely off topic: JK will already know about this, but by way of explanation for JG, I've been doddering along with a novel I'm writing, of which JK has seen the prologue and two chapters, I think (I just finished the final edit of chapter 28 today!). Each chapter is introduced with a snippet of sorts, an excerpt from some fictional textbook or article. I was wondering if either of you would object to the use of this at the beginning of Chapter 27:

"The economic story of the last hundred years of Earth history was merely an accelerated version of the hundred years before them: the transfer of capital from producers to government through onerous taxation and regulation, and from there to the politically connected by political artifice, while doling out nothing more than bread, circuses, and rhetoric to the average family."

- Kranz and Rinard, “Reality Economics: Smith, Bastiat, and Hayek”

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 9, 2015 8:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for the able backup brother Keith. You did detect a reluctance take on ALL religion. But as I've said, as long as they only proseletyze with the pen and the tongue, and not the sword.

JK refers to the "peace-loving" average Muslims that Ayaan Hirsi Ali implored to resist the violence, intolerance and subjugation of the Islamists in their midst. But as she herself pointed out (and I can't find the blog post that cites it) in an ideological battle between a moderate Muslim and a devout one, the moderate is disarmed. So who are these moderate Muslims more afraid of - me or their fundamentalist brothers? No, I suspect most of the folks you suggest I'm "ignoring" would welcome my criticisms. They just want a deity to believe in, not an excuse to rape, pillage and murder.

Posted by: johngalt at July 10, 2015 12:48 AM

May 27, 2015

Quote of the Day

"It has everything one would want for a wedding," al-Homsi said of Raqqa--a riverside provincial capital that in the 18 months since IS took control has seen militants beheading opponents and stoning alleged adulteresses in public. Gunmen at checkpoints scrutinize passers-by for signs of anything they see as a violation of Shariah, or Islamic law, as slight as a hint of hair gel. In the homes of some of the IS commanders in the city are women and girls from the Yazidi religious sect, abducted in Iraq and now kept as sex slaves. -- AP
Hat-tip: James Taranto
Posted by John Kranz at 2:53 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Here we go again - a patriarchal system dictating who may and may not marry... and who may and may not be legally enslaved for sex.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2015 3:54 PM

May 20, 2015

Armchair General

I found this disturbing:

The Syrian government's antiquities chief Mamoun Abdulkarim said he had no doubt that if Palmyra fell to the jihadists, it would suffer a similar fate to ancient Nimrud, which they blew up earlier this year.

'If ISIS enters Palmyra, it will spell its destruction... it will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery which we saw in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul.'

But I shall not just complain without suggesting a solution.

These heavily armed aircraft incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of a television sensor, infrared sensor and radar. These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets anytime, anywhere.


Posted by JohnGalt at 6:25 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

That 130 is a beautiful sight -- unless you're the target. If we only had a Commander-in-Chief who was serious about defeating ISIS...

I do have give a shout-out to another Close Air Support vehicle that I love, though, the A-10. As much as I respect the 130, I can buy seven Warthogs for the same price, and that BRRRRRT sound of her primary weapon is nothing short of iconic. Only a complete traitor would be pushing to decommission the A-10.

My apologies for my scanty participation, by the way -- the day job has really been insistent on having my undivided attention. I've barely had the time to make a nuisance of myself on Facebook, and only during non-paying hours...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 21, 2015 12:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The A-10 is a great aircraft. Her forte is obliterating armored vehicles, however. "Spooky" and "Spectre" and "Ghostrider" (planned deployment in FY2017) are well suited to anti-personnel duty, in bad weather and at night, in addition to obliterating armored vehicles.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did you click through for the video? It's the best I've ever seen. Not only can they visually differentiate between armed men vs. women and children, they can see weapons being carried. Collateral damage = lower.

But I'd already taken up so much column inch with the still shot I linked it rather than imbed. Never let it be said that I lack humility.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2015 2:57 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The other thing the C130-based designs have over the A-10 is "linger" time and long-range fire. It can wait anyone out, and I believe with some of it's heavier ordnance (like a 105mm cannon) it can shoot from out of earshot.... giving a whole new meaning of the old term "whispering death."

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 26, 2015 11:58 PM

May 6, 2015

"I'm concerned about the America you would have us live in."

This requires no explanation or embellishment. Megyn is correct, without exception.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:55 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Snyder v. Phelps! Well played, Ms. Kelly!

First Amendment absolutism makes me proudest of my country. Snyder. Skokie. Larry Flynt. Bong Hits for Jesus. Flag burning. SCOTUS has been reliable (give them a Mulligan on McConnell v. FEC) in protecting speech from the "common sense" restrictions offered by Mister O'Reilly and Mister "we'll fight Jihad with Love."

I know I'm a broken record but I still don't hear the anarchist answer for this. The bill of rights (our last rights defended after Carolene) are really remarkable in their escape of democratic "common sense." You're simply not likely to get anything like that from private agency.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2015 4:45 PM
But jk thinks:

And, All Hail Taranto:

Today, however, that post-9/11 cliché has real meaning. Some intellectuals are arguing for curtailments of civil liberties that would both fulfill terrorist objectives and damage one of our most cherished values, namely the freedom of speech.

Exhibit A is this Washington Post headline: "Event Organizer Offers No Apology After Thwarted Attack in Texas." The event is the "Texas cartoon contest attacked by two gunmen late Sunday," featuring images of Muhammad, the Muslim prophet; and the organizer is Pamela Geller, a truculent critic of Islam.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2015 5:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I just heard Geller interviewed on the radio. She corrected this media characterization, stating she is a truculent critic of "jihad and murder in the name of Islam" not of Islam.

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2015 5:48 PM
But Terri thinks:
But johngalt thinks:

Me too, Terri, and thanks for linking it here. It goes right to the heart of the questions, "Why do you provoke them" and "Why do you insult an entire religion?"

If a subset of members of a group that adheres to a specific religion claims a moral right to murder people for violating any one of several tenets of that religion, it is incumbent on everyone else to speak and act in contravention to that claim. Some are brave enough to do that and some are not. (And some oppose doing so for other self-serving reasons.)

Furthermore, the amount of bravery required varies with the particular religion in question. If the folks of a specific religion are intent only on using law to impose their beliefs, rather than the most barbaric forms of highly publicized murder, it is much safer to mock elements of that faith. c.f. "Piss Christ" and the like.

Posted by: johngalt at May 7, 2015 11:49 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I've long been madly in love with Ms. Kelly, now I must accept that I'm simply not worthy.... ahkthpth, who wanted to move to NYC anyway?

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 8, 2015 10:51 AM

January 29, 2015

Holy War by Any Other Name Would Smell as Wretched

President Obama's official spokesman as much as said, "the Taliban are not a terrorist organization." His administration refuses to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism (or "extremism") is related in any way to the Islamic religion. But as Investors' Ed page reminds, the Muslim holy war goes way back, to at least 1991:

This is the same Muslim Brotherhood whose strategic goal, according to a 1991 memorandum by one of its operatives, is "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

Some serious parsing of the words "eliminating, destroying and victorious" is required to evade the existential threat to human liberty which this portends. This, Muslim religious war with civilization.

Click through on the IBD link to read about how Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians hostile to the pro-western Egyptian army leadership were welcomed to the Obama State Department, while Bibi is shunned. Stunning.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:27 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Disturbing. As Hans (or is it Franz?) says "I'm not going to sugar-coat this." I remember sitting at the kitchen table of a friend of this blog in 2008 discussing the forthcoming loss of all the hard fought gains from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We were both proven right -- and I've never been so disappointed.

But the people got what they voted for and that is a facet of democracy with which I must agree. The William Easterly problem with the Iraq War is perhaps that the US cannot count on a long-term commitment. The next bums get to overturn your best laid plans.

Ergo, while I deplore the President's Harvard-Faculty-Lounge foreign policy, he is within his right and I oppose him with little more than eye-rolling. You can't fix stupid and I cannot fix the Administration's worldview.

One can better influence domestic policy -- videlicet The Tea Party, flipping both houses of Congress, and asserting Constitutional limits through the Supreme Court.

What we will need when the bender of the Obama Years wears off is the strongest possible economy, both to project power as needed but more subtly to lead by example and retain confidence.

As bad as it gets, there's just nothing we can do until January 2017 in regards to foreign policy. Hard to fix bad domestic policy -- but not impossible.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2015 2:57 PM

January 28, 2015

Wolves at the door

As a Dish subscriber I was temporarily cut off from access (while Dish and Fox Corp argued over subscription rates to an unrelated Fox network) to any news of military successes around the world. That apparently included the Kurdish rout of ISIS jihadholes in Kobane. Daily Mail:

The video, which ends with the hostage being beheaded, was discovered by Memri TV which translated it from Arabic.

It emerged two days after Kurdish fighters expelled ISIS from the strategic Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border after months of fierce fighting.

The news prompted celebrations among residents who fled across the frontier into Turkey, with thousands gathering at the border in the hope they will be able to return home more than four months after the fighting first started.

The town's recapture marked a key symbolic and strategic blow against ISIS, but officials warned massive reconstruction was needed and the fight would continue for the surrounding villages.

Oh, and the video includes the following jihadhole boasts:

'Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America.'

'Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province.'


The militant's threats do not stop at America, but also include a message for France and 'sister' Belgium.

He says: 'We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and will cut off your heads'.


The militant then saves his most personal attack for the Kurdish leader Masoud Barazani, who is currently leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

'As for you, oh Masoud (Barazani), you dog, we are going to behead you and throw you into the trash bin of history.

'Know that we are men who fear no-one. We will institute the laws of Allah, may he be exalted and praised.'

So my question is this: If this were reported more widely in the west, who has any doubt of the overwhelming public support for a more aggressive offensive mission to make examples of these jihadholes, thus diminishing the sex appeal of becoming a jihadhole?

And that, friends, is why this isn't reported more widely in the west. Our media is controlled by sheep, not sheep dogs.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2015

The Sun Setting on the British Empire...

Wow. The Land of Locke and Burke and Churchill:

Via Reason, Hat-tip: Insty who says "Video at the link. Kind of pathetic. And by 'kind of pathetic,' I mean really, really pathetic."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:05 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Needless to say, I apologize for any of our viewers who may have been offended by that.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2015 3:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sky seems to have chosen wisely, at least to the extent that one agrees with Comrade Pope. Nobody now has cause to throw a punch their way!

Je suis Charlie? Not so much at Sky.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2015 4:03 PM

January 8, 2015

Otequay of the Ayday

Choudary's entire argument excusing the Paris attack reveals the fundamental disconnect between views of civilizations. Radical Islamists have no intention of assimilating into their respective cultures or contributing to any kind of meaningful dialogue about religion and free speech. They are intent on terrorizing western citizens out of exerting their rights. Their plan of terrorism and intimidation, with the ultimate goal of imposing their religion on others is fundamentally anti-American and is not meant for the 21st century.

[And (finally) anti-French too.]

CNSNews' Curtis Kalin in "Muslim Cleric Defends Paris Terrorist Attack"

Click through to read Choudary's irrational attempt at rationalization. But even then, he had to invoke the vigilante defense.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:45 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Shorter Choudary: "Going out like that in public, she was asking for it." Rape victims, cartoonists, all the same. Islam gonna Islam.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 8, 2015 10:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime [besmirching the "honor of the Prophet Muhammad"] under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State."

And that, in one sentence, is proof that an Islamic State is fully immoral; fully incompatible with natural human life.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2015 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:
The 20th-century jihad "bible" and an animating work for many Islamist groups today, is "The Quranic Concept of War," a book written in the mid-1970s by Pakistani Gen. S.K. Malik. He argues that because God, Allah, himself authored every word of the Quran, the rules of war contained in the Quran are of a higher caliber than the rules developed by mere mortals. -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Posted by: jk at January 9, 2015 4:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Islamists to the West: "The honor of our Prophet is so mighty that we must murder anyone who speaks ill of Him."

Lest it be, what, tarnished? Rilly?

In the immortal words of Jethro Tull [the musicians, not the evil agrarian specializer]:

"My God's not the kind who's got to be wound up on Sundays."

Or murdered for on days ending in 'y.'

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2015 6:11 PM

September 3, 2014

The End is Near?

Here is an interesting article that was linked by Real Clear Politics - What ISIS's Leader Really Wants

The last four paragraphs are of particular interest, as they suggest that the Islamist movement or, at least, the Caliphate reenactment re-sequels, may have a finite duration as foretold by the prophet:

ISIS almost certainly has a successor in mind. But the supply of caliphs is not infinite, according to some Baghdadi-aligned Islamic scholars studied by Bunzel. One of those scholars, the Bahraini cleric Turki al-Bin'ali, cites a saying attributed to Muhammad that predicts a total of twelve caliphs before the end of the world. Bin'ali considers only seven of the caliphs of history legitimate. That makes Baghdadi the eighth out of twelve--and in some Sunni traditions, the name of the twelfth and final caliph, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, has already been foretold.

I did not know that.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:21 AM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... the supply of caliphs is not infinite..."

I wonder how we should test that hypothesis. There are good arguments for either a bolt-action .308 or a mushroom cloud.

Either way, just sitting back and seeing how history plays out while watching from the back nine is not a worthwhile option.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 3, 2014 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The linked article closes with the words "The end of the [Islamist?] world may be coming, one Hellfire missile at a time." I advocate for using whatever weapon(s) will dispatch as many of the youthful Jihadi idealists who surround the Caliph, and no more. The idea is to bring to justice violators of individual rights. Not Muslims, not terrorists, but plain old murderers. And then to tell all the governments and faiths of the world, "You have the same freedoms as anyone else on earth which is to say, you may not initiate force against another."

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2014 1:54 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Just curious: why the clear distinction between terrorist and murderers? From The Refugee's perspective, one has killed innocent people and the other is making every attempt to do so. Must we wait until they succeed before taking action?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 4, 2014 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What I was getting at was not *because* they are terrorists. Terrorist is a politically charged word, imparting moral ambiguity, e.g. "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" but there is no moral ambiguity regarding murderers.

Posted by: johngalt at September 4, 2014 5:45 PM

August 29, 2014

Moral Ambiguity, Meet Moral Certainty

Despite numerous high-level voices in his administration giving clear signals that Islamic State is unambiguously evil and should be dealt with swiftly and forcefully, President Obama said yesterday that, "we don't have a strategy yet." And, really, who is surprised at this development, given that his response to the decapitation murder of James Foley was to say of ISIS: "People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy."

Daily Beast contributor Stuart Stevens writes what essentially occurred to me the moment I heard that:

"But it seems incredibly naïve and American-centric not to grasp that the Islamic fanatics of ISIS are very much about building - building a new world in their vision."

Stevens explains:

As a post-Cold War figure who matured through "movements," Barack Obama is drawing from a distinct tradition. He is clearly more comfortable talking about "justice" than "evil." The "oppressed" to him are much more likely to be victims of society's prejudice than communism. Some on the right argue that Barack Obama rejects the concept of America as a force for good but I think that's a misjudgment. It's more that he defaults to a fundamentally different test than his predecessors.

More often than not, Barack Obama defines America's moral worth - our "goodness" - by comparing America's past to some future in which the values in which he believes will be the norm. In that matrix, it's not about us versus them - it's about what we are versus what we can be. It's us vs. us. America is "good" because we are getting "better." We are at our best not when we fight the evils of the world, but the "injustice" of our society, primarily prejudice, for which there is an evolving test.

This explains the Progressive apology for Islamism wherein their heinous acts are caused, not by an innately barbaric interpretation of a "pure" principle, but by the "injustices" visited upon them by prosperous westerners and their governments. They are supposedly "radicalized" in response to our prosperity. (And "inequality" perhaps?)

But moral ambiguity is not a condition which afflicts the Islamists. Right or wrong, they know what they want and they believe they are justified in doing anything to achieve it. That kind of moral certainty is a very powerful motivator. It can provoke millions of people to vote for you, if you articulate it in a political contest. It can also provoke a convicted mass murderer to seek to join your movement, as former Army Major Nidal Hassan reportedly attempted:

""It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don't compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers."

Would but the President of the United States be so certain as to say, "Anyone on this Earth may believe anything he wants, but there is no justification to initiate force against anyone else. You don't have to get along with us, but you most certainly may not kill or injure us, except in physical self-defense."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2014

Quote of the postwar era

I do not feel that my choice of title is overwrought.

The whole questionable debate on American war weariness aside, the U.S. military is not war weary and is fully capable of attacking and reducing IS throughout the depth of its holdings, and we should do it now, but supported substantially by our traditional allies and partners, especially by those in the region who have the most to give - and the most to lose - if the Islamic State’s march continues.

From a must read article by General John R. Allen, USMC retired. He gives the President great credit for actions taken in the theater thus far, but makes a profound plea for his annihilation of Islamic State immediately.

For its part, the White House has finally unleashed the "t-word."

"When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. "That represents a terrorist attack against our country, against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers."
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2014

"Never Again..."

A Facebook friend compared the Islamic State movement [ISIS] to Nazism in 20th century Germany. Given the wholesale mass murder that both ideologies engaged in, I think the comparison is a good one, and completely leaps over Godwin's Law. I replied with the following comment:

The analogy between "ISIS" (Islamic Statists) and NAZI Germany is apropos, but I think there is a more timely analogy for IS - namely, the Ebola virus. Islamism is an ideological virus comparable to the biological virus. Both viruses kill or make carriers of the majority of people which they contact. Both are merciless, and have no goal but their own propagation. Both pose a threat of spreading to every nation on Earth. They are impervious to reason or "negotiation." - So why does Ebola warrant emergency efforts by our NIH and deployment of our latest experimental "weapon" the ZMAPP drug, while the rapidly spreading Islamic Statist movement is met only with "limited airstrikes?"


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Michael Moynihan deliberately mentioned and then contravened Godwin's Law on The Independents last night, saying "This is Babi Yar."

Strong but undeniable words. There are no examples contradictory to equivalence.

I would certainly back the President on a forceful response, but I mistrust his judgment sufficiently to hope for caution. "Limited Air strikes" have been somewhat effective. A clandestine arming of the Kurds could be good politics and good policy.

Posted by: jk at August 21, 2014 5:31 PM

August 13, 2014

Islam on Sex and the "rights" of "slaves"

Heh. Don't get many opportunities to use the "slavery" category these days but such is the gift that is the darkness of [they refer to it as, simply] IS. (Islamic State)

In the first comment to this oft-cited (at least by yours truly) post I riffed on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's claim in a WSJ piece that a central part of what the jihadists are about is the oppression of women.

The central issue here, morally justified by the "pure principles of the Prophet" is a profound illiberalism. One which permits one class - devout Muslim men - to do anything his heart desires to every member of any other group. A "license to rape" is a popular selling point to young men.

This idea was horrific enough in the antiseptic realm of the intellect. Today I find purportedly devout young Muslim men Tweeting about what a believer is permitted to do with his female slaves.

Islam allows "slavery". Women can be captured, men can be killed. The Prophet approved this ...

is their a limit to how many slave women can have?

I'm not sure there's a fixed limit.

that in islam u dont need to marry a slave to have physical relationship with her

a slave is not one of your wives, you can have relationship with her as long as she's your slave

Don't worry, though, because "slaves" have "rights."

Sex has to be consentual though and it only applies to concubines. Mut'ah [temporary marriage for pleasure] is a big no no

whats the definition of concubine, isnt it the same as a person u own, obvious in islam they have rights

But their intentions are "good" right? As AHA explained, "Boko Haram [and all Islamists, by extension] sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated." Noble even. With benefactors like that, who needs an evil overlord?

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 7, 2014

Negotiating with Satan

I call this a rant because it comes straight from my thoughts, without any supporting hyperlinks.

I hear many commentators discuss the implications of America's recent decision to negotiate with terrorists in the trading of five Islamist war criminals for the feckless Bowe Bergdahl. "This will only endanger our troops as it encourages the enemy to attempt taking more of our soldiers as hostages."

What I don't hear is anyone contemplating what this exchange has done to the Jihadis. Here are some observations:

- Dealing with their enemy with dialog instead of bullets weakens the "purity" of the "all infidels must be killed" ideology. UBL seemed to be more ruthless in this ideology than the Taliban, and their leader Mullah Omar, now seem to be.

- Trading value for value is capitalism. This is the path to peaceful coexistence. Capturing more Americans to trade for other things they want is, while distressing, an improvement on the strategy of "kill enough of them that they lose their political will and flee."

Our soldiers' presence in their primitive lands seems to have effected a sort of "Peace Corps" effect as they learn that, individually, Americans are not devils.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:26 AM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Since writing this I've felt some regret about analogizing the trading of hostages with capitalism. Human lives are not "capital" and capturing free people is not "creating wealth." Capitalism requires free trade, and trading in captivity can never be compatible with free trade.

Is an expanded hostage trade really an improvement - from the civilized point of view - from the "kill the infidels" strategy? If it helps to lead a great number of Islamists to recognize their enemy's right to exist, and eventually reform Islam and renounce its mistaken moral license to kill infidels on sight, then yes I think so.

Do I believe this is Obama's strategically desired outcome? No. I believe he withdraws from battle for egalitarian pacifist motivations, and trades Gitmo's prisoners as a means to close Gitmo. The Taliban and other Islamists (Iran, anyone?) may be more likely to draw undesirable conclusions from America's actions than the one I outlined above. So just consider this hopeful observation as my attempt for the "blog optimist of the month" award.

Posted by: johngalt at June 8, 2014 9:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It also bears my stating openly that the Taliban's behavior in this episode has affected my attitude toward them, if only slightly. A reading of their history as the government of Afghanistan is warranted, however, to show just how far they have to evolve and reform from a society of forced religious order to one of individual rights.

Posted by: johngalt at June 8, 2014 10:23 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee's quarrel with this post is that it seems too dependent upon ipso facto analysis. Just because the Taliban has kept a soldier alive as trade bait does not indicate that they have moved closer to Western values of individual life and commerce. These people have been haggling since Abraham put Isaac on the alter and drive a harder bargain than God. They may be ideological, but they are also supremely practical. They will not give up a thing of value for nothing, whether the return be propaganda, comrades or money. Kidnapping for ransom is a time-honored craft in that part of the world.

Obama has now establish the "list price" of a US serviceman. Moreover, because he justified the trade based on Bergdahl's "deteriorating health," he has incented the Taliban to capture soldiers and starve/torture them within an inch of their lives to extract maximum value. Because Bergdahl lived, others will be tortured and die. Another case of Obama picking winners and losers, perhaps.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 9, 2014 5:34 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Trading one's life for 72 virgins may the most extreme example of Islamic haggling, though one could argue that it less like haggling and more like heaven on the pre fixe plan.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 9, 2014 5:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes. I believe you're right BR. Continued reflection convinced me that this doesn't show the Taliban has moved away from a pure ideology. Instead, it shows that their ideology was never pure to begin with. That, I think, is the important takeaway here: Despite all of their, literally, "holier than thou" rhetoric they are no different than any other human males who, as Robert Heinlein wrote, "will hoist the Jolly Roger" when they see a good opportunity to do so.

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2014 11:53 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And that criticism remains: If America is so evil, Taliban, how can you negotiate with them?

Answer: Because the negotiation is not between "good" or "evil" in either an absolute OR a relative sense, but between "haves" and "want to haves." Or in familiar terms, producers and looters.

Hey, don't Democrats frequently call Republicans "evil" too? Hmmm.

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2014 11:57 AM

May 14, 2014

It depends on what the meaning of "Jihad" is

A debate is brewing over the content of a 7-minute film at the 9/11 Museum.

Zafar: "We wholeheartedly agree on the need to accurately capture what happened that day [9/11] and that's what the purpose of this museum is."

But they don't want the words "Jihad" or "Islamist extremist" to be used because there's "not a sufficient amount of nuance applied when these terms are used." Apparently "Jihad" means just "struggle" to promote Islam, but Zafar never really explained how violence is inconsistent with an extreme interpretation of Jihad.

D'Souza: "The terrorists who did 9/11 said they were doing it in the name of Islam, so it becomes a little weird for us to then say, 'Well no, you're not. You actually have other motives. You're outlaws or you have some other... These are very pious Muslims who did what they did in the name of Jihad. Now there are different types of Jihad but the predominant type of Jihad, historically, has in fact been holy war. Muslims conducting if you will, violence, very often to spread the faith, and this is something that has gone back to Islam to the seventh century."

Whether or not al Qaeda's interpretation of Jihad is the "true meaning" of the term, the thousands of lives they slaughtered on 9/11 are very truly still dead. It seems that those who so desperately want to separate the "documented teachings" of Islam from the "hate-filled ideology" of al Qaeda had best come up with a new term for "that struggle to do good and also to defend what the true teachings of Islam are" that can't so interchangeably be conflated with mass murder.

Until then, the acts of Islamist extremists must be called what they are: Jihad. Holy War. In the name of Islam. Or, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali might call it - Islam unreformed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2014

Hossess Hirsa Ali on the inconvenient truth about Islam

You'll recall she was scheduled to speak at Brandeis University, calling attention to violence against girls in the Muslim world, and her permission to speak was revoked just prior to the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings.

The excerpt below shows I am not the only one who believes the best way to address such violence - first against women and ultimately, by natural extension, against all non-male non-Muslims - is to discuss its provenance.

"It's not just Boko Haram" it's "all across Africa, it's in Asia, it's even in Europe."


"They say we've liberated these girls. You have to understand that level of conviction. You have to understand that, somehow, it is derived from Islam unreformed. I think there is a possibility for Islam to be reformed. I think the opportunity is right here. But I think it all begins with acknowledging that there is something wrong in the first place."

With Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File:

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2014

Below the surface of the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings

The natural reaction to news of an Islamist terror group kidnapping schoolgirls and threatening to sell them into slavery is outrage, but my perspective has been improved after reading this NBC News article on Boko Haram. Translation: "Western education is a sin."

The synopsis is that Nigeria is "Africa's largest country, where 170 million people are divided evenly between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north." After initial arrangements for the national presidency to be held, alternately, by a Christian and then a Muslim, the current Christian president - and I admit I'm ascribing motive here - used national oil revenues to unify the country around western ways and, in the process, achieve majority rule and marginalize the political power of the Muslims, at least so far as their "religious values" being imposed upon the government. So the extremist Muslims reacted, predictably, with terror attacks.

Given all of this I then wondered, were the kidnapped girls Muslim or Christian. They were taken from a school in the northeast so, presumably, Muslim. So the moderate Muslims are now faced with a choice between western-style prosperity and industrialization or, Sharia Law. You know what I hope they choose. And you may also suspect what the "equal but miserable" crowd wishes.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2013


Posted by JohnGalt at 6:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2013

America the Beautiful

While looking for the flaming anti-patriotism column I wanted to blog about I found, on the KOA radio page, Patriotic Babes.


Semper Fi.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Long may she wave!

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2013 11:00 AM

September 15, 2012

Tweet of the Day

Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2012

All Hail the Onion!

I'm going to make you click to see this. Really not safe for anywhere or anybody.

WASHINGTON--Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened, sources reported Thursday.


Posted by John Kranz at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)


In a comment to last week's Hope-a-Dope post, brother Ellis made a reference to 'Have Spacesuit - Will Travel.' It pained me that I couldn't come up with a clever acknowledgement of his obscure reference. But this morning, the events of September 11, 2012 led to my recollection of another passage from that title. It speaks to the practice of exposing oneself to a visibly unprotected life amongst others who have proven by their past behavior to be hostile to your very existence - for the misguided purpose of showing that you "trust" and "respect" those others, and seek to live happily ever after in coexistence with them. That was, it now appears, the intention of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton's foreign policy in Libya.

We lived like that “Happy Family“ you sometimes see in traveling zoos: a lion caged with a lamb. It is a startling exhibit but the lamb has to be replaced frequently.

--RAH 'Have Spacesuit - Will Travel' (1958)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:34 PM | Comments (1)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Spot. On!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 13, 2012 4:56 PM

September 12, 2012

Okay, I Think I might Riot!

At least the Danish cartoons were funny.

Hat-tip: Eugene Volokh, who includes serious commentary that Secretary Clinton still does not get it:

The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.

Really? What about Matt Stone & Trey Parker's hit Broadway Musical? Does that not denigrate the religious beliefs of others? Think about it, I'll wait... Does "The United States" deplore it?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:34 PM | Comments (0)

Islamists Wag the Dog?

The catalyst for riots and embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya yesterday, resulting in the deaths of four American diplomats, reportedly was a low-budget film that "appeared on the internet" and "insulted Islam." Demands by Egyptian citizens that the Egyptian president "take action" have apparently borne fruit as he asked the Egyptian Embassy in the U.S. to take "all legal measures" against the makers of the film.

But first there is the problem of determining who the makers of the film really are.

A high-ranking Israeli official in Los Angeles on Wednesday said that after numerous inquiries, it appeared no one in the Hollywood film industry or in the local Israeli community knew of a Sam Bacile, the supposed director-writer of the incendiary film “Innocence of Muslims.”

The official expressed some doubt that a person by that name actually existed.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:48 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

DOESN'T MATTER. The American government, like the government of any free nation, isn't in the business of allowing or disallowing the published free speech of any of its citizens. The savage goatherds of Egypt and Libya don't seem to understand how that works.

Several lefties I know responded to my statement "this is an act of war" with "the attack on our embassies wasn't done by their governments, but by individuals who are not part of government; you can't hold their whole countries and their governments responsible for the actions of a few."

Why not? The purported reason for the attacks and murders was a film produced not by the American government, but by a handful of individuals in America not affiliated with the US government. If the film justifies an attack on our sovereign soil, how does the attack not justify the reverse?

OBAMA OWNS THIS WHOLE SCREW-UP, PART AND PARCEL. He and his administration fostered and encouraged the whole "Arab Spring" mess, putting Islamists in charge. We supported the Brotherhood in Egypt; we sponsored the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya and enabled the new regime ("We came, we saw, he's dead." Anyone remember that?). Syria is now in slow-motion freefall; Turkey has moved from moderation to the Islamists; Afghanistan is a fly's eyelash from becoming a proxy state of Iran, which has made it clear they intend war on Israel. This administration has turned the Middle East into a powderkeg, and the SCOAMF is sitting on it to light up a joint.

The SCOAMF no-showed the entire last week of his daily intelligence briefings. But that's okay, say his mouthpieces, because even if he doesn't attend in person, he reads the written reports daily. REALLY? Then how is it he and his administration got caught flat-footed? Why was the Benghazi compound unprotected, and the nearby safegouse compromised.

"Foreign Policy President," my muscular buttocks...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 12, 2012 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You make a rational point KA. However, American public opinion would never support military action against Libya in response to this act of war on the part of al Qaeda. Nor should it. We should, however, "hold their whole country and their government responsible" in every civil means possible. One of these is to not post an ambassador without a metric buttload of marines. Hell, we don't post an ambassador in Great Britain without a detachment of marines. THAT, among many many other failures, is on the president.

Yes, Obama "owns" this, as I wrote in the previous post. And not only because of his policy failures but also because he "spiked the football" at least 21 times at the Democrat convention last week alone, capped by his vice-president's suggestion that Obama's killing of their leader should be on a bumper sticker: "Osama's Dead. GM's Alive."

If al Qaeda sought revenge it was generally against the United States, but specifically against a president who told them one thing but did quite another.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 5:46 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If Obama has not attended a single briefing in the week leading up to 9/11 (especially following the killing of OBL), then THAT is a scandal!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 12, 2012 6:53 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Demands by Egyptian citizens that the Egyptian president "take action" have apparently borne fruit as he asked the Egyptian Embassy in the U.S. to take "all legal measures" against the makers of the film.

Wow, I wish all demands by foreign governments were that easy to resolve. All legal measures against an American accused of apostasy have already been taken.

Posted by: AndyN at September 12, 2012 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yup. So long as the Egyptian president didn't mean sharia-legal.

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 7:31 PM

August 2, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

Ahmadinejad added that "liberating Palestine" would solve all the world's problems, although he did not elaborate on exactly how that might work.

--From a Jerusalem Post article, reporting a speech published on the Iranian president's website today renewing his call for "the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom."

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2011

Airplanes are so Mysterious

The story of the Yemini gentleman got me thinking of the third time I flew on a plane.

Like him, I -- it's so funny to think of it now -- I became a little disoriented, and as the plane was landing -- oh this is so embarrassing -- I mistook the cockpit for the bathroom. So there I am, pounding on the cockpit door yelling "GOD IS GREAT!!" GOD IS GREAT!!!"

I bet the other passengers thought I was nuts or something. It all seems so silly now, but when you're not used to flying, you know...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The poor man was just misunderstood. He was actually yelling, "Hey,ya'll, you gotta bar?" He only wanted a drink. Being a bunch of Islamophobes, the passengers thought he said something else.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 11, 2011 9:45 AM

January 18, 2011

Who is "Responsible" for the Tucson Shooter?

(This is not a court of law, so I need not include the superfluous term "alleged.")

From Atlas Shrugged, Part III, Chapter 7 - "This is John Galt Speaking"

"Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose. If existence on earth is your goal, you must choose your actions and values by the standard of that which is proper to man -- for the purpose of preserving, fulfilling and enjoying the irreplaceable value which is your life."

Like the mysticism of fundamentalist Islam teaches the Jihadi, one of the western mysticisms taught a young Jared Loughner that his life on earth is not of value to him, that existence on earth should not be his goal, or that such an existence does not depend on his choice of actions. He was not prepared to live a happy and prosperous life. He was "a metaphysical monstrosity."

"Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death. Such a being is a metaphysical monstrosity, struggling to oppose, negate and contradict the fact of his own existence, running blindly amuck on a trail of destruction, capable of nothing but pain."

Why is it so common to find a man who is depressed and confused and desperate to discover some "meaning" for his life? Because those who purport to give him that meaning do nothing of the sort. Whether the self-described "moralists" tell man that he needs no morality or that self-sacrifice is morality's greatest virtue, they do so in contradiction with reality. When man's rational faculty attempts to resolve this contradiction it must either abandon faith, abandon reason, or self-destruct.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at January 18, 2011 5:03 PM

January 13, 2009

I Thought Everyone Was Going To Like Us

Accompanying caption via Reuters:

Hardline demonstrators burn posters of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, during a demonstration in support of the people of Gaza, in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran January 13, 2009.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:44 AM | Comments (6)
But T. Greer thinks:

Notice how only "hardline" demonstraters burn posters of Obama.

$10 they would just be "protesters" if it were pictures of Bush that were being burned.

~T. Greer, bias-detector.

Posted by: T. Greer at January 13, 2009 12:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Just glad to see our place in the world has been restored...

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2009 12:42 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Welcome to the world, Mr. Obama. Say something really clever that will make them realize how wrong they've been all these years.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 13, 2009 12:59 PM
But jk thinks:

To be fair, these are pro-Hamas protesters in Tehran. Not the worst enemies to have, eh?

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2009 1:06 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee's concern is that this may be the first time that it dawns on Obama and the Left that these people fundamentally hate America, not GWB. Sitting down over a nice cup of mint tea and sweet halva while listening attentively to their concerns will not be enough to convince these people abandon their nukes and unite in harmony with Jews and Christians.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 13, 2009 3:38 PM
But jk thinks:

@tg: Taranto's stealing your material!

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2009 4:15 PM

March 11, 2008

God's good graces

Blind obedience to faith or manipulative rationalization? You decide: Gaza Hamas leader thanks God for his son's death in Israeli air strike

"This is a part of our people's path and, God willing, our people will achieve victory," Khalil al-Haya said.

He has himself escaped assassination attempts, including an Israeli strike last May that killed two of his brothers and six other relatives gathered at a family home. Al-Haya was not in the building at the time.

How unfortunate for mister al-Haya that God frowns upon him so, and denies him the glory of martyrdom. Many others in his family were apparently in good graces with Him, however.

"I thank God for this gift," Khalil al-Haya said. "This is the 10th member of my family to receive the honor of martyrdom."

Man, that's a lot of virgins!

Seriously though, if Islamists really believed that being blown to bits by Israeli helicopters in the "conflict with Israel" was a gift from God they'd be lining up with targets on their heads.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:43 AM

April 26, 2007


Every 08 candidate gets a title with their name and an exclamation point.


"What Jimmy Carter fails to understand is what so many fail to understand: Whether it is Hamas or Hezbollah or al Qaeda, there is an overarching goal among the violent jihadists that transcends borders and boundaries. That goal is to replace all modern Islamic states with a caliphate, to destroy Israel, to cause the collapse of the West and the United States, and to conquer the world."

Posted by AlexC at 5:42 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I saw that quote and admit it is very good.

The deal-breaker for me for the Governor is his mandatory health insurance plan for Massachusetts. Looks like a classic W deal where you give up something to get something and get completely rolled. If we want HillaryCare, we can vote for the real deal – I was looking for something else.

Posted by: jk at April 26, 2007 6:44 PM
But AlexC thinks:

With the exception of Hagel, every Republican "gets" the war.

Now it's a test of not liking them because of the other issues. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at April 26, 2007 9:00 PM

February 21, 2007

I disappointed my Dad, too.

Ian at Benevolent Misanthropy posts this sad story, noting that it is neither surprising nor unique.

A father killed his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernised lifestyle, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mohammed Riaz, 49, found it abhorrent that his eldest daughter wanted to be a fashion designer, and that she and her sisters were likely to reject the Muslim tradition of arranged marriages.

Their lives are not yours to take, Sir. That is the fundamental bankruptcy of that belief system.

Sorry for the flippant headline. My father was indeed devastated when I left school to pursue a musical career. But he knew the wise words of the Lebanese poet Kalil Gibran, "Your children are not your children."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:52 PM

December 6, 2006

Prepare To Be Angry

I've kept a cool head and cautioned others to not succumb to hatred of Muslims. I have a few Muslim friends, one very devout, one regular guy who goes to Mosque now and then, and one who'll share his ham sandwich with you. None would hurt a fly I keep all three in mind when my fellow travelers claim it is us against them.

I've paid moderate attention to the Minneapolis Airport contretemps. I thought the behavior of the imams was shameful and the obligatory media lizarding from the folks at CAIR was typically reprehensible. I considered that this was a softening blow to relax rules and set up another attack. Disconcerting, but life goes on.

Debra Burlingame lost her brother, Chic Burlingame III on 9/11; he was the pilot of AA 77 which was crashed into the Pentagon. She has a guest editorial in the Wall Street Journal (free link) today. Her piece tells the unvarnished truth and is beautifully written.

Here's what the flying public needs to know about airplanes and civil rights: Once your foot traverses the entranceway of a commercial airliner, you are no longer in a democracy in which everyone gets a vote and minority rights are affirmatively protected in furtherance of fuzzy, ever-shifting social policy. Ultimately, the responsibility for your personal safety and security rests on the shoulders of one person, the pilot in command. His primary job is to safely transport you and your belongings from one place to another. Period.

This is the doctrine of "captain's authority." It has a longstanding history and a statutory mandate, further strengthened after 9/11, which recognizes that flight crews are our last line of defense between the kernel of a terrorist plot and its lethal execution. The day we tell the captain of a commercial airliner that he cannot remove a problem passenger unless he divines beyond question what is in that passenger's head and heart is the day our commercial aviation system begins to crumble. When a passenger's conduct is so disturbing and disruptive that reasonable, ordinary people fear for their lives, the captain must have the discretionary authority to respond without having to consider equal protection or First Amendment standards about which even trained lawyers with the clarity of hindsight might strongly disagree. The pilot in command can't get it wrong. At 35,000 feet, when multiple events are rapidly unfolding in real time, there is no room for error.

It is clear we must have the stomach to turn off our "Minnesota Nice" for the likes of these people. Me, I'm about ready for internment camps. Korematsu vs. United States is still on the books.

Byurhan, Mohammed and Hossein. Good guys. Calm down.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

One last thing: Internment camps? What's that about?

Posted by: johngalt at December 6, 2006 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I saw that C&F cartoon yesterday -- great stuff!

I was suggesting that the Burlingame piece made me mad enough to suggest repeating one of our nation's darkest moments when Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced into internment camps during WWII.

In Korematsu, the Supreme Court basically said that was okay. We could test Senator Specter's commitment to long held precedent if a challenge case came up.

Posted by: jk at December 6, 2006 4:04 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

I'm going to wade into this mess and say "Maybe we oughta start thinking about interment camps,..."


You put a part of it square on the head, JK: some Muslims are the nicest people in the world. And yes, I worked with a Muslim paramedic from Chad many years ago - nicest medic I've known in years, great empathy w/ patients.

Unfortunately, while a majority of Muslims seem to be of the benevolent, peaceful type apparently espoused by Mohammed, they're also the quietest.

If you think fascists are perverting your religion, speak up! If not, get lumped in with the rest and deal with the consequences (such as interment camps).

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 6, 2006 8:04 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

BTW - cross-posted for effect!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 6, 2006 8:15 PM
But jk thinks:

I must admit I was using it more as a rhetorical device to show how angry I was after reading the editorial. Not sure I want to go too far down this road.

It strikes me that every time a CAIR representative goes on TV, probably ten people who were ambivalent turn against Muslims. I'm not sure that organization is achieving its stated cause.

While we're beating up, though, it alarms me that these people are Islamic religious leaders. It's one thing to have wackos who claim religious grounds -- this is like a bishop blowing up an abortion center.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2006 10:14 AM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Ah,..JK,..once again, you and I are thinking the same thing, just from different angles!


Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 7, 2006 8:14 PM

September 11, 2006


Dean Barnett has a must read post on the events of five years ago.

    IT HAS BECOME A TRITE LAMENT that 9/11 brought us together, and it’s a shame that since then we’ve come apart. But 9/11 brought us together because of two transitory emotions – sadness and rage. Once those emotions calmed down, once our open wounds turned into scars, it was inevitable that our differences would resurface.

    When the flags came out in the aftermath of 9/11, they didn’t signify a consensus on where we would go from there. They symbolized a consensus that we were all in pain, all anguished. When the time came to move on, disagreements inevitably (and not improperly) came regarding exactly how we should move on.

    Even though a thorough review of 9/11, including both its lead-up and aftermath, won’t provide an obvious path forward that everyone will agree on, there are some valuable lessons we can draw from that awful day. Looking back, we can clearly see the remorseless murderers that our enemies are – that knowledge is instructive. And we can also see that they are numerous. That, too, is important to take into account.

    But the most important lesson we can take from 9/11 is this: We must take every possible step to ensure never again. Never again will we allow ourselves to feel the way we did that day. Never again will we be so blind to storm clouds as they gather. Never again will we choose to believe comforting lies rather than disquieting truths.

Posted by AlexC at 10:40 AM

June 8, 2006


The New Republic's The Plank.

    there's the guy who called into the "Diane Rehm Show" this morning and choked up with tears as he recounted, "I woke up this morning and learned my country had dropped a bomb on someone's head...." Meanwhile another caller wanted to know how many innocent civilians had been killed in the raid (not an unreasonable question, I hasten to add--but this caller, too, displayed roughly zero enthusiasm for Zarqawi's demise).

Decision 08 has a bunch of quality quotes.


    I’m supposed to give the obligatory “YAY USA!” cheer here, but while it’s good to get the bad guys I don’t really think it’s going to improve much. Hopefully I’m wrong.

Steve Benan:

    [W]hile it’s no doubt good news that Zarqawi is no more, it’s worth remembering that Bush wasn’t willing to hit this known al-Qaeda terrorist in a known location based on air-tight intelligence before the war even began.

Posted by AlexC at 5:34 PM

June 7, 2006

The Toronto Terrorists

I haven't linked to Lileks for a while.

But here's a must read.

    You're an enlightened world citizen. Your T-shirt says "9/11 was an inside job." You're pretty sure we're living in a fascist state, that President Bush taps the Dixie Chicks' phones, Christian abortion clinic bombers outnumber jihadis, and the war on "terror" is a distraction from the real threats: carbon emissions and Pat Robertson. Then you learn that 17 people were arrested in a terrorist bomb plot. How do you process the information? Let's take it step by step.

Posted by AlexC at 11:01 PM

May 30, 2006

Take 2

The British police have been stretched thin, preventing domestic terrorist attacks. They have prevented 20 "major attacks" recently, but there are still 2,000 or so jihadists loose in the country.

Here is a post from Jihad Watch about one attack that was stopped -- and about what the terrorists used to justify their actions. The first paragraph in the post says it all.

This story contains much of the information that I posted here: these plotters were planning jihad attacks against a British nightclub and other targets. But this story adds some important new details -- particularly about how these plotters, like Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, believed that what they were doing was in accord with the Qur'an, and quoted particular verses to support this. Yet all too many Muslims in the West continue to spend their time convincing gullible non-Muslims that the verses in question don't mean what to these plotters is "just clear" that they do mean -- instead of trying to combat the iunfluence of the plotters' interpretation among Muslims, which of course would be much more difficult, but would be immensely more worthwhile in combating the jihad these Muslims profess to oppose.

"Gang 'plotted to blow up Ministry of Sound,'" from The Telegraph, with thanks to David:

An alleged al-Qa'eda terrorist cell discussed blowing up the Ministry of Sound nightclub to take revenge on "those slags dancing around", a jury heard yesterday....

Akbar, then 20 and studying at Brunel University, suggested targeting bars ...
Akbar said: "Our purpose is to defend the honour of the Muslim, yeah, and bring the Islamic state back because if the Islamic state were here then the problems would not be there."
Khyam said he believed Britain was a kufr [heathen] country and added: "You see things different, but me, it's just nothing, they just need to be killed and blood spilled. To me this is clear.

''The verse says lay in ambush for them, besiege them and kill them when you find them, to me that's just clear, kill them."

Quoting the Koran, Akbar said: "The best thing you can do is put terror in their hearts, there is no doubt, there is nothing better than that. We put fear in their hearts."

... It is claimed the gang were planning to use half a ton of ammonium nitrate stored in a lock-up in north west London for a homemade bomb.

Here are some of the Qur'an verses Akbar probably quoted about terror:

"Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!" (Qur'an 3:151)

"How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them. No plea had they, when Our terror came unto them, save that they said: Lo! We were wrong-doers." (Qur'an 7:4-5)

"Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.'" (Qur'an 8:12)

"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly." (Qur'an 8:60)

The rest of the Telegraph's article is worth reading. It gives more detail, and has a link to a surveillance recording of the 6 jihadists' plot.

Posted by Cyrano at 2:48 AM

May 29, 2006

On This Date In History

Jihad Watch has another good post today: “Black Tuesday on a Monday.” It goes right along with what Dr. Lewis said in my post "Intellectual History of Islamofascism."

On Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II entered Constantinople, breaking through the defenses of a vastly outnumbered and indomitably courageous Byzantine force. Historian Steven Runciman notes what happened next: the Muslim soldiers "slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit." (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 145.)

It has come to be known as Black Tuesday, the Last Day of the World.

Some jihadists "made for the small but splendid churches by the walls, Saint George by the Charisian Gate, Saint John in Petra, and the lovely church of the monastery of the Holy Saviour in Chora, to strip them of their stores of plate and their vestments and everything else that could be torn from them. In the Chora they left the mosaics and frescoes, but they destroyed the icon of the Mother of God, the Hodigitria, the holiest picture in all Byzantium, painted, so men said, by Saint Luke himself. It had been taken there from its own church beside the Palace at the beginning of the siege, that its beneficient presence might be at hand to inspire the defenders on the walls. It was taken from its setting and hacked into four pieces." (P. 146.)

The rest of the article is worth reading.

Posted by Cyrano at 9:24 PM

On This Date In History

Jihad Watch has another good post today: “Black Tuesday on a Monday.” It goes right along with what Dr. Lewis said in my post "Intellectual History of Islamofascism."

On Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II entered Constantinople, breaking through the defenses of a vastly outnumbered and indomitably courageous Byzantine force. Historian Steven Runciman notes what happened next: the Muslim soldiers "slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit." (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 145.)

It has come to be known as Black Tuesday, the Last Day of the World.

Some jihadists "made for the small but splendid churches by the walls, Saint George by the Charisian Gate, Saint John in Petra, and the lovely church of the monastery of the Holy Saviour in Chora, to strip them of their stores of plate and their vestments and everything else that could be torn from them. In the Chora they left the mosaics and frescoes, but they destroyed the icon of the Mother of God, the Hodigitria, the holiest picture in all Byzantium, painted, so men said, by Saint Luke himself. It had been taken there from its own church beside the Palace at the beginning of the siege, that its beneficient presence might be at hand to inspire the defenders on the walls. It was taken from its setting and hacked into four pieces." (P. 146.)

The rest of the article is worth reading.

Posted by Cyrano at 9:24 PM

May 26, 2006

While We Were Sleeping...

Jihad Watch had a post about the suicide bombers which the Iranian government is registering and preparing for battle. The Iranians said they were going to do this, and they are good to their word.

From Iran Focus, with thanks to JE:

Tehran, Iran, May 26 – More than 100 radical Islamists affiliated to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) gathered on Thursday in Tehran’s most famous cemetery vowing to blow themselves up in suicide attacks to kill Americans, Britons, and Israelis.

The “martyrdom-seeking volunteers”, most of whom had covered their faces with a chafieh, issued a warning to Washington that they would blow up United States interests around the world if Iran’s nuclear installations came under attack.

Mohammad-Ali Samadi, spokesman for the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers, repeated a claim made earlier in the week that more than 55,000 “volunteers for martyrdom-seeking operations” had been registered so far by the organisation, which also calls itself “Estesh’hadioun”, or martyrdom-seekers.

A huge banner was displayed at the event, depicting the coffins of American and British troops in Iraq

Posted by Cyrano at 9:42 AM

May 25, 2006


Here -- can anyone corroborate this story? -- is an unpleasant post from the folks at Infidel Bloggers:

That Infamous "Chatter" Must Be Pretty High For This To Have Come Out

Every since shortly after 9/11, we have heard that the FBI, and the CIA, had heard a lot of "chatter" in the days leading up to the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. A few times since then, we have also been told that "chatter" had, once again, spiked.

If I recall correctly, there was a spike in the days previous to the 3/11 attack, and also in the days leading up to the uncovering a terrorist cell in Jordan who were said to have been in possession of 1 ton of chemical weapons.

I could be wrong in my recollection here. Please correct me, if my memory is faulty on this.

Anyway, today the New York Post published an article saying that the FBI and the Justice Department have launched "urgent" investigations into some Hizbollah terrorist cells in major cities around the U.S., including NYC.

Assuming the New York Post did not leak classified information here, we have to assume that the fact that such news has been released means things really are urgent. If they weren't the FBI and the Justice Dept. would have slowly, but surely, formed an airtight ring around these guys, in order to build a case, and catch them in the act.

Here's the story. Check it out:

May 22, 2006 — WASHINGTON - The Hezbollah terror group - one of the most dangerous in the world - may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up, sources told The Post.

The FBI and Justice Department have launched urgent new probes in New York and other cities targeting members of the Lebanese terror group. Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The Post that about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York area.

Sources said the activities of these New York-based operatives are being monitored by FBI counterterrorism agents as part of a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror strike if the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program spins out of control.

Additional law-enforcement attention is being centered on the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.

The nationwide effort to neutralize Hezbollah sleepers in the United States, being spearheaded by the FBI and Justice Department’s counterterrorism divisions, was triggered in January in response to alarming reports that Iran’s fanatical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met with leaders of Hezbollah and other terror groups during a visit to Syria.

Among those attending the meetings, according to reliable reports, was Hezbollah’s chief operational planner, Imad Mugniyah - considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world - who is responsible for the bombings of the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and who, more recently, provided Iraqi guerrillas with sophisticated explosive devices.

U.S. officials stressed there is no intelligence information pointing to an imminent attack by Hezbollah. But officials said they have detected increased activity by Hezbollah operatives - including more heated rhetoric by its leaders and in Internet chat rooms as the U.S.-Iran diplomatic showdown heats up.

I'm guessing the FBI and the Justice released this information because they are not sure whether they have been able to detect and monitor all the cells. Therefore, perhaps, they have concluded that it is better at this juncture to keep the terrorist cells worrying that they are being monitored.

We can also assume that we are not being the whole story here. For instance, I would really like to know what kind of attacks are in the pipeline. We may never hear, or we may wake up one day and not have to be told.

Let's hope nothing happens, or if there are terrorists about to strike, they are stopped.

If the US would have taken action 5 -- or preferrably 30 -- years ago against Islamofascism, we would not be in this predicament today... This is not case of "hindsight is 20-20," this is a case of irrationality and pragmatism plaguing our house.

Posted by Cyrano at 1:26 AM | Comments (2)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Trace this toxic path right to the feet of the Carter administration. He was resigned to a declining America.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at May 25, 2006 10:00 AM
But jk thinks:

Nothing I love more than a good whack at our 39th President and I agree that he is culpable.

Historically, however, none of the Presidents before the current one has a great record. I’m willing to forgive President Reagan for Iran-Contra. But I think his biggest mistake was pulling the Marines out of Beirut after the bombing. President Clinton offered the same bad lesson in Somalia.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2006 10:02 AM

May 20, 2006

Islamic Heaven For Women

This is a good point by comedian B.J. Novak. It shows what good women have to look forward to, according to the Islamic view of the "hereafter."

Posted by Cyrano at 10:02 PM | Comments (1)
But Cyrano thinks:


I was able to see both videos I linked to. I had to get around my pop-up blocker, yes, but that was easily done.


Posted by: Cyrano at May 22, 2006 10:52 PM

April 21, 2006

Private Planes


    The Transportation Security Administration has warned aircraft owners and airport managers that Muslim extremists may be targeting private American jets and urged them to boost security.

    "On April 13, 2006, a message posted in Arabic on an Internet forum explained how to identify private American jets and urged Muslims to destroy all such aircraft," the TSA said in an advisory issued on Thursday and obtained by Reuters on Friday.

    The TSA quoted the Arabic message as saying: "We call upon all Muslims to follow and identify private civilian American aircrafts in all airports of the world."

    "It is the duty of Muslims to destroy all types of private American aircraft that are of the types Gulfstream and Lear Jet and all small aircraft usually used by distinguished (people) and businessmen," it quoted the message as saying.

Hmm. I always figured that stealing a plane from an airport and flying it into a supertanker or an oil refinery would be high on the list. Those guys are slow.

Posted by AlexC at 4:33 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at April 21, 2006 5:18 PM

March 17, 2006


The lead editorial in today's Wall Street Journal (free link) makes a good and obvious point about the Moussaoui case. This case never should have been in civilian court.

The witness coaching was a prosecutorial blunder, which is a shame, but that is not the main issue here. A bigger mistake was President Bush's decision nearly four and a half years ago to assign Moussaoui to trial in a civilian criminal court. As we know from captured al Qaeda training manuals, recruits are instructed in how to exploit the West's legal system if they are caught. The lesson of the Moussaoui trial is that the regular criminal justice system isn't up to the job of trying most terrorists.

Moussaoui would have been the ideal defendant to inaugurate the President's then newly announced--and subsequently much maligned--military commissions. Much of the evidence against him was unclassified and could have been produced in open court. If he had demanded access to classified information--as he did during his criminal trial--it would have been an easy matter to seal the courtroom and show it to his lawyers, all of whom would have had security clearances. The criminal prosecution was a missed opportunity to show the world how trial by military tribunal would work.

Which brings us to Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear later this month. The case challenges the constitutionality of the military commissions announced by Mr. Bush on November 13, 2001, to try suspected terrorists. It further argues

Sadly, this again requires seriousness in our nation's belief that we are at war. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus for the nation. To preserve the Union. I don't want to go there but don't feel we need to let combatants into the civil justice system.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM

February 14, 2006

Giving the Philly Inquirer Credit

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran the Muhammed "offending" cartoons last week and was met with a few hundred protesters.

John Grogan writes:

    The protesters spoke their minds - loudly and forcibly - and made their disgust known.

    Elsewhere in the world, Danish embassies have been burned, and riots have turned bloody. And that is hugely ironic, considering the whole point of the cartoon is that Islam has been hijacked by a minority of violent extremists who act inconsistently with the religion's tenets.

    What better way to sustain post-9/11 stereotypes of Muslims as prone to religious violence than to protest an image by... turning violent?

    Fortunately, that did not happen in Philadelphia. Not even close. While there was some hostility in the crowd, everyone behaved.

    There were some who shouted ugly things and distributed unsavory images, but they were in the minority. And even the worst of it fell well within the bounds of a cherished democratic tradition: the right to free speech and open assembly. The right to disagree and be heard.

    Some protesters called for a boycott of the newspaper, and for readers to cancel their subscriptions. It's all fair game, and a rich part of that crazy, messy, not always pretty institution known as democracy.


Posted by AlexC at 12:28 PM

February 11, 2006

Call Me Crazy...

... but I think Denmark's Queen Margrethe has a great body for a woman her age.

(tip to Michelle Malkin, who remembers the last Muslim bikini incident)

Posted by AlexC at 7:31 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I cannot look at that without hearing the "Monty Python" theme. Da dun da dun da dun da dun. Da dunnuhnuhnuh da nuuuh...

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2006 2:50 PM

February 8, 2006

Blues for Allah

I've been listening to the Grateful Dead lately.

I'm wondering if there were any Muslim Deadheads and if there was any bad blood about their 1975 release, Blues for Allah.

And who is this guy on the album cover playing the violin? If it's Mohammed there's a real problem. If it's one of the Grateful Dead, an infidel, there's a problem.

Is Allah really into the blues?

Posted by AlexC at 4:59 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Whoa, dude, you're such an infidel...

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2006 11:00 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Dude... be cool man....I respect the Arab culture.... man... one time there was this dude that had this hookah.... and we fogged up our VW van with hash smoke.... man.... it was soooooo awesome......

Posted by: AlexC at February 9, 2006 12:28 PM

February 7, 2006

The New Franz Ferdinand

When Gavrilo Princip pulled the trigger to kill Austria's Archduke Ferdinand I don't think anyone thought that his action would lead to a bloody war lasting four years encompassing most of the world's nations.

The actual causes of the war between the Allies and the Axis powers were simmering for a while.

Ten or fifteen years from now, will we remember "Jyllands-Posten" in the same way?

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back?

Posted by AlexC at 7:18 PM | Comments (2)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

That right there is the truly scary question.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 8, 2006 6:30 PM
But jk thinks:

WW One is the weakest part of my admittedly weak historical knowledge, but my reading is that a generation died and no constructive good was done. I'll sit still for a correction if it's warranted.

My fear is that that is the other parallel -- a clash of civilizations without an outcome.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 6:52 PM

February 6, 2006

Danes in Iran

The cartoon conflagration grows.

    A crowd of about 400 demonstrators threw petrol bombs at the Danish embassy in Tehran and tried to break into it on Monday night in a protest over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

    To chants of "God is Greatest" and "Death to America" the crowd tried to break down the metal gate entrance to the embassy, which sits behind a high wall in a residential district of northern Tehran, a Reuters correspondent said.

    Riot police fired teargas to disperse the crowd but at least three protesters managed to scale the barbed-wire topped wall and get into the compound.

Good to see that the police are trying to manage the situation.
    The embassy had been evacuated ahead of the pre-announced protest organised by the Basij, a volunteer militia affiliated to Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards.

Of course, an ounce of prevention would have gone a long way here. I can't imagine why you would evacuate a building if it was only going to be a protest.

Posted by AlexC at 5:42 PM